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UPDATE 1-U.S. crude stocks up more than expected, Cushing hub plunges - EIA

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(Adds details of fuel demand, gasoline stocks, oil prices)

Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks rose more than expected in the latest week, the government reported on Wednesday, but inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub dropped sharply again, suggesting markets remain tight due to steady demand and stagnant production.

Crude inventories in the week to Oct. 22 rose by 4.3 million barrels to 430.8 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, a much bigger rise than the 1.9 million barrels analysts had expected.

However, stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 3.9 million barrels in the week to 27.3 million barrels, the lowest since October of 2018.

Stocks have remained low at Cushing as U.S. output has been slow to rebound from the depths of the pandemic. Production was steady at 11.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in the most recent week, far below the late 2019 peak of nearly 13 million bpd.

Despite the fall in stocks at Cushing, the Gulf Coast's inventories rose to 247 million barrels in the week, partly due to a net increase in imports which hit their highest since June.

"As bad as things are with Cushing, we are flush with crude oil in the Gulf Coast. But massive draws in the delivery hub for the futures contract is a red flag," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Later-dated futures contracts are trading at lower prices than the current contract, indicating heavy demand for oil on a prompt basis. U.S. crude futures were down $1.25, or 1.5%, to $83.40 on the day as of 10:52 a.m. EDT (1452 GMT) while Brent dropped $1.35, or 1.6%, to $85.05 a barrel..

U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 2 million barrels in the week to 215.8 million barrels, lowest since 2017, the EIA said.​

Refinery crude runs rose by 58,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.4 percentage points, in the week.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 432,000 barrels in the week to 125 million barrels. (Reporting By David Gaffen; Editing by David Gregorio)

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